• The former national Korea Ambassador Cup welterweight bronze medalist introduced martial art in the region, which was neglected at the time, despite his exploits.
• As people who live and eat off sports, we are highly affected because we lack any other source of income — Ratang’a.
Former British Open Tae Kwondo middleweight bronze medalist Jacktone Ratang’a has bemoaned the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in his life.
Ratang’a, the founder of North Rift martial art and a black belter said the virus has crippled his only source of income, where he heavily depends on taekwondo and other martial arts coaching.
“This pandemic has had no mercy on me, as a family man. I depend on training martial arts in the region to earn a living and now that crowding and sports events have come to a halt, my life has taken a terrible dimension,” said Ratang’a in Eldoret.
Following the social distancing measures imposed by the government, he no longer opens his gym.
“I train my students to understand the origin of the game and self-defence among other skills involved in the sport,” said Ratang’a, who also runs 'Fight For Life Kenya' where they train street children martial arts.
“Before the virus, I used to have between 16 and 20 players a day but now the highest I can get is four. The street children under the 'Fight For Life Kenya' have also taken another step to try and help themselves survive through the pandemic. We used to organise tournaments to support them in the camp based at Yamumbi but now that is impossible,” he said.
The former national Korea Ambassador Cup welterweight bronze medalist introduced martial art in the region, which was neglected at the time, despite his exploits.
The second Don appealed to the government, through the Ministry of Sports to help them through their situation, just like they are supporting other disciplines.
“As people who live and eat off sports, we are highly affected because we lack any other source of income,” said Ratang’a.